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Hot Like Wasabi

Arcade theme bar?

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My friend and I occasionally talk about opening up a bar one day and what are the chances a bar filled with arcades could be successful? Would people think of it as a smaller, dirtier version of Gameworks or Dave and Busters?

It's not a location that I want families hanging out or a bunch of teenagers either. I want a place that people my age (25 - 30) could relieve the days that any mall you visited had an arcade but at a place with food/drinks that won't cost an arm and leg.

Some arcade games I would like to have in the place:

Super Street Fighter II
Samurai Showdown
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Joe and Mac
Mortal Kombat
Virtua Cop
Time Crisis
The Simpsons

Another potential drawback is would people if bother visiting a place like this where you can play these games perfectly from the comfort of your home. Would all of these games have to be on free play?

This is just an idea I had kicking around, maybe one day I can actually put together some good plans.

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  1. Korly's Avatar
    Make everything a quarter, and make sure there's a working change machine. And you might want to throw in a Pacman machine or something.
  2. Revoltor's Avatar

    I only wish I lived a little closer to it.
  3. Frogacuda's Avatar
    Yeah, this exists, as Revolter pointed out, and it's pretty awesome, fairly huge (for a bar, not for an arcade), and always packed. It helps that in addition to having a great collection of 70s and 80s games, it's also a great bar with an excellent tap.

    Barcade keeps their entire collection very retro. I think Outrun is the newest cab there, and there's a lot of very old stuff like Asteroids. These games are all easily emulatable, but they're old enough that seeing original cabs is a bit of a novelty. Nothing is on free play, but nothing costs more than a quarter either.

    I think the most important thing is to make the place feel consistent and coherent, not like a bar with some cabs lying around. You need people to feel like the cabs are an attraction, so a good collection is probably pretty important. People ignore arcade cabinets when they're at the laundromat or pizza shop, so the bar is going to have to have games they don't see everyday. Cruis'n Exotica and Tekken 4 won't cut it. A great collection of fighting games or shooters, or 80s stuff or whatever might have more novelty factor.
    Updated 20 Jun 2010 at 05:38 PM by Frogacuda
  4. NeoZeedeater's Avatar
    Barcade sounds awesome. I know Hot Like Wasabi wants more of a '90s focus but there really is less novelty factor in that simply because (in my experience) many of those games were still pretty common less than a decade ago, especially in places like movie theatres and bars that didn't always have the latest stuff. I really need to find an arcade with games like Atari Star Wars, Discs of Tron, Battlezone, STUN Runner, etc.. I feel really deprived of playing the real things. Emulation's not the same for those.
  5. Hot Like Wasabi's Avatar
    If I ever visit NYC, I will for sure stop and check out Barcade. Retro to me is the 1990 - 1995 but to Neo's point, they haven't been gone for very long. I just hate the fact that 1, arcades barely exist any more and 2, the places that do have them are so expensive for food and alcohol.
  6. Diff-chan's Avatar
    I give it 3 months.
  7. Fe 26's Avatar
    I've had the same idea.
  8. Changeling's Avatar
    Golden Tee machine has to be there! Defintely stick to old school games. 80-85.
  9. BerringerX's Avatar
    We have one here in Dallas. Haven't been there yet.
  10. burgundy's Avatar
    if your area has a trendy/hipster neighborhood, that's probably the only place something like this could be viable. in other areas bars like this won't fly because people go to bars to relax or meet members of the opposite sex. plus the overhead and maintenance would be expensive.
  11. Advocate's Avatar
    Barcade had Sinistar. 'Nuff said.

    Also, where I was so drunk I forget how I got to Gray's Papaya's with Cow for a Chili Dog.


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